Posted 6/22/2006 12:48 AM (#605) Subject: The Act of Giving
Metaphysics, like other spiritual subjects teaches that it is more rewarding to give than to receive. I surely agree with this idea. But my Washateria business premises is becoming a nuisance center because different individuals seeking financial assistance, (not necessarily from me but from my customers ) converge on it daily. Some customers don't mind and give whatever they can. Others are not so happy as they feel unsecure with strangers continually coming to beg for money. Some customers have even stopped coming for this reason.
Some of these people really need assistance while others could do something better. Am I judging them? Do I need to tell these people to stop disturbing the customers or I should leave them alone? Is the cosmic teaching me a lesson through their actions?
Please, let me have your opinion.
Posted 6/22/2006 3:04 AM (#608 - in reply to #605) Subject: RE: The Act of Giving
Location: Northern Utah, USA
That's a hard one... Compassion and empathy are important, "There but for the grace of God go I". But, you also need to protect your business intrest and customers. What about offering these people some easy work? They could clean the premises, or wash the windows etc. for a small fee. This would give them some pride in knowing they earned the money, instead of begging for it... Some would just leave probably, but you never know!
Posted 6/25/2006 12:44 AM (#614 - in reply to #605) Subject: RE: The Act of Giving
You are right as I did just that. But the pity of it is that some of these guys asking for 50 cents or so say cleaning the machines, which I often do myself, is nasty job. All they want is free money.
Posted 6/25/2006 1:38 AM (#615 - in reply to #605) Subject: RE: The Act of Giving
Location: Northern Utah, USA
Then to protect your business interests and and shield your customers from pan-handling and harassment, send them down the road... Cold, but maybe they need somewhere else to work out their karma. I am about love and giving, but I am a realist too. I'm sure others here will dissagree with me, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Posted 6/27/2006 10:17 PM (#619 - in reply to #605) Subject: RE: The Act of Giving
You know, that IS a really hard one. I have that problem walking to work every day. I get hit up in the 3 short blocks by so many people that I just can't give any of them anything becuase I'd be broke by the time I got to work every morning! It would cost me $20 if I gave them all a dollar. It would cost me $100 per week, and $400 per month. I live on a major shoe string and $400 is not anywhere to be found in my budget, I barely have enough to take care of my bills and such as it is.
I have lived with a lot of guilt about it, and I have a cringing energy every time I walk by them and they ask and I say no, and I have been faced with my own judgements about these people. Sometimes I just want to scream at them to get a job like I have and support themselves. I dislike my job and having to work all week for nothing but keeping a roof over my head that I don't get to enjoy that much because I have to spend so much time working for it. I understand not wanting to work, but I do it anyway because it isn't anyone's job to take care of me but mine, and it isn't fair of me to put it on society to take care of me just because I'm too unwilling to work a menial job. Most of these people who are asking me for money are young people who are having an adventure across the USA or drifting because they are gypsy types, and they simply don't want to work and want society to pay for their "vacation." The particular town I live in draws a lot of "hippies," although drifters and homeless people isn't the true definition of a hippie. Technically, hippie means someone who is "hip" to what is going on, and that means that person would take care of themselves if they really know what's going on.
Occasionally, my heart is touched and I see someone who really is just hitting hard times trying to get back on their feet, or seems to have run into some emotional trauma and has no money to work it out. That is the person I give $20 to all at once. That is the person I will go out of my way to give them a ride to where they're going, or take them out to the sandwhich place and get them lunch on my lunch break. Unfortunately, there are less of these kinds of people than there are people who are just too lazy to get a job and pay for their own needs. The young 20 years olds are the ones who make me the maddest.
When I was in my 20s, I galavanted around with a back pack too, lived very cheaply, camped under the stars, hiked the trails, etc. However, I would work and save up enough month to buy groceries so that no one else was paying for my "vacation." For instance, I would come to a town, get a job, work for a month and save up $1000 while I slept in the nearby forests, and that would be enough money to buy my groceries for another 4-5 months. Then I would do it again. Once time I lucked out an collected signatures for some cause and made $1200 in a couple weeks! Occasionally there were great opportunities to make cash fast. I went on a Grateful Dead tour and sold bracelets I made out of beads and made enough dough to travel for the rest of the year. One time I even washed windsheilds at a rest area to get gas to get to my destination and fix my radiator in a dead car that I got stranded with. Never did I pan handle, never did I ask for a free handout, and I was one of those people who just couldn't last at a job, I couldn't wear the time harness in my youth, I would go kinda nuts. Now it still bothers me, but I am able to override it a bit now.
So there is no one better than me to understand why the 20 year olds don't want to work. However, a person in this situation has to get resourceful about making money. There are always ways to make a little money without having to work the time harness. I discovered that staying in one place and paying rent and bills is far more expensive than travelling and enjoying nature with a backpack, and f a person is willing to camp and live on the land, life can be very cheap. A person can find temporary jobs, make things and sell them to stores or people on the beach, although the vending on the streets thing is harder these days than it used to be with permits and all, or even stand on a street corner and play folk songs! There is a way to live like a gypsy and get your own money without pan handling...
Anyway, point is, pick your charity cases based on what you feel about them and give money to the ones who seem like they really deserve to have free money becuase they hit hard times. I don't pick people who have turned pan handling into a living. The exception to this is people who are handicapped, like people who are missing legs and such in South America where ther is no public assistance or disability and such. There are mentally handicapped people who I like to help too, but my money doesn't go around very thick cause I just don't have muc of it.
What we are really dealing with is the fact that the homelessness issue is rooted in the society itself. People don't have assistance when they hit hard times, people don't have many resources to draw on if they fall ill, mentally or physically, and there are very few provisions for people who are down and out. Personally, I think that if there was a cap on what a millionaire could keep every year as far as income, say 3 million a year is all you can keep and the rest goes in the community pot which is used to help those less fortunate, it would all even out in the end, and then capitalism incentives are still there, but money could not be hoarded to the level that it is. Economists say that there is a million dollars for every man woman and child on the face of the planet in this moment, but one person or corporation is holding that money that would belong to a lot of individuals. If it was spread out more, if people who don't want to work could get a $10,000 per year allotment, or less, whatever the living necessities are, then there would not be this problem in the first place. That takes a total rearrangement of the economy tho, and the ones who are holding hundreds of millions of dollars aren't going to let go easily, so I guess divine intervention would be the only way that the economy will ever be reorganized.